In this week’s Reagan Forum podcast we go back to our March 11, 2021 virtual event with Midshipman 1st Class Sydney Barber. In December 2020 Sydney Barber was appointed as the brigade commander for the United States Naval Academy – the first black female brigade commander at the academy. In an interview with The Capital Gazette about the appointment, Sydney said, “I see it more as a responsibility and a privilege and an honor to be able to be someone to pave the way. I feel extremely blessed that I have this opportunity to open doors for people who are coming after me.” The brigade commander — who serves for a semester — is selected by the academy’s senior leadership through an application and interview process. The role was previously held by 1st Class Ryan Chapman, who called Barber a “catalyst for action, a visionary, a listener, a doer, and a person driven by compassion, by faith, by a fierce sense of passion and heart full of love.” Barber, who is a mechanical engineering major, joined the Reagan Foundation’s Chief Learning Officer Tony Pennay in a conversation about her role. Let’s listen.

As part of the year-long commemoration, the Reagan Foundation will be holding a series of virtual events that look at, and discuss, one of these historic anniversary dates.  The first virtual event in this series commemorated the 40th anniversary of that fateful day – March 30, 1981 – when President Reagan and three others were shot. During this virtual event, which originally aired on YouTube on March 30, 2021, you will hear from the people who were there that day, including Former United States Secret Service Agent Ray Shaddick, the agent who helped shove President Reagan into the car, before closing the door behind him Former United States Secret Service Agent Tim McCarthy, who was struck by one of the bullets aimed at President Reagan Former White House Advance Staff Rick Ahearn, who helped to save White House Press Secretary James Brady’s life with his quick actions that day Former White House Speechwriter Mari (Maseng) Will, who drafted the speech the President delivered that day and was walking in front of the President when the shots rang out. Let’s Listen

In this week’s Words to Live By, we honor St. Patrick’s Day, the cultural and religious celebration held each year on March 17th, the traditional death date of Saint Patrick, the foremost patron saint of Ireland.  The holiday has evolved over the years into a celebration of Irish culture with parades, special foods, music, dancing, drinking…and a whole lot of green! Ronald Reagan’s ancestral homeland was Ballyporeen, Ireland, and he was extremely proud of his Irish roots.  In June of 1984, during a diplomatic mission to Ireland, President and Mrs. Reagan visited Ballyporeen, where he discovered a local pub named in his honor!

The White House Press Secretary is a senior White House official whose primary responsibility is to act as spokesperson for the executive branch of the federal government of the United, States, especially with regard to the president, senior aides, and executives, as well as government policies. The press secretary is responsible for collecting information about actions and events within the president’s administration and issues the administration’s reactions to developments around the world. The press secretary interacts with the media and the White House press corps on a daily basis. President Reagan selected James Brady for his first White House Press Secretary. Just 40 when Ronald Reagan gave him the White House job, he had already served as a spokesman for the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Office of Management and Budget and the Pentagon, and for the failed presidential campaign of Texas Republican John Connally. Exactly two months into the job, on March 21, 1981, President Reagan joined in the fun during a roast in honor of Press Secretary Brady.

Tim Tebow is currently the Chairman of the Board of the Tim Tebow Foundation which works to bring faith, hope, and love to those needing a brighter day in their darkest hour of need.  He has granted close to 100 official W15H experiences through his W15H program, which fulfills the dreams of children with life-threatening illnesses. Working with so many special children inspired Tim to write his first children’s book, Bronco and Friends: A Party to Remember.  Each character in the book is named after one of the W15H kids he has met, children who have since passed away.  In a recent interview in People Magazine, Tim said that these children have had such an impact on his life, so it was important to him to honor them, their memory, and how much they meant to him. During today’s conversation with Reagan Foundation and Institute Executive Director John Heubusch, Tim Tebow discusses his new book, a book that he hopes inspires children to appreciate that they are unique, special and wonderful. Let’s listen.

We bring you one of the world’s best selling authors and trusted storytellers – James Patterson – who joined us on February 17, 2021 for conversation on his latest book, Walk in My Combat Boots.  Joining us in the conversation was the book’s co-author, First Sergeant Matt Eversmann who’s story of survival during a combat in Mogadishu in 1993 is told in the epic film, Black Hawk Down. James Patterson’s writing career is characterized by a single mission: to prove that there is no such thing as a person who “doesn’t like to read,” only people who haven’t found the right book. He has given over three million books to schoolkids and the military, donated more than seventy million dollars to support education, and endowed over five thousand college scholarships for teachers. With over 150 millions copies of his book in print, and over 180 titles printed, James Patterson recently called Walk in My Combat Boots the most important book of his career.  The book is a powerful collection, crafted from hundreds of original interviews which are the brutally honest stories usually only shared amongst comrades in arms. Here, in the voices of the men and women who’ve fought overseas from Vietnam to Iraq and Afghanistan, is a rare eye-opening look into what wearing the uniform, fighting in combat, losing friends and coming home is really like. Readers who next thank a military member for their service will finally have a true understanding of what that thanks is for. During today’s conversation with Reagan Foundation and Institute Executive Director John Heubusch, James Patterson and Matt Eversmann discuss their book, which they say will change the way you view our military.  It’s the stories that your fathers and mothers, your sons and daughters, who have come back from battle have never been able to tell you.

A White House state dinner honors a visiting head of government or reigning monarch and is one of the grandest and most glamorous of White House affairs. It is part of an official state visit and provides the president and first lady the opportunity to honor the visiting head of state and his or her spouse. It is a courtesy—an expression of goodwill—a way of extending hospitality. It brings to mind the tradition of breaking bread with friends to seal a friendship. It is an event that also showcases global power and influence. The traditional toasts exchanged by the two leaders at the dinner offer an important and appropriate platform for the continuation of the serious dialogue that has taken place earlier in the day. Let’s now listen to the Toasts of President Reagan and Prime Minister Thatcher at the first State Dinner, on February 26, 1981.

Let’s listen to Ronald and Nancy Reagan themselves talk about their love story.

In this week’s A Reagan Forum we bring you American speechwriter Mark Salter, who joined us in conversation on December 7, 2020, for his brand-new book, The Luckiest Man: Life with John McCain.

Governor and Mrs. Reagan first came to know John McCain as a returning prisoner of war whose POW bracelet they had worn. That bracelet has been on display in the Reagan Library since its opening in 1991. In the years after, he became a deeply respected and cherished personal friend. Senator McCain was an inspiring risk-taker. Time and again, he demonstrated his willingness to sacrifice for his country and his beliefs. From his extraordinary courage in a Hanoi dungeon to his practice of putting principle over political expediency, he consistently modeled character and conviction.

In November of 1979, militants in Iran seized 66 American citizens at the US embassy in Tehran and held 52 of them hostage for more than a year.  Negotiations to get the citizens returned safely to America were hard, as the US administration struggled to find anyone to negotiate within a meaningful fashion. On January 27, 1981, just six days after the inauguration, President Reagan welcomed all of the freed American hostages at the White House and greeted each of them individually.  Let’s listen to his remarks from that day.

January 20, 2021, otherwise known as Inauguration day.  But it’s also historic for another reason.  January 20, 2021 marks the 40th anniversary of Ronald Reagan’s inauguration, making him the 40th president of the united states. Let’s use this podcast to go back 40 years in time, and listen to President Reagan’s inspiring 1981 inaugural address. Let’s listen.

Ronald Reagan made a point of honoring American heroes—in ceremonies at the White House and on many other occasions. During his State of the Union Addresses, he began a tradition of extending the nation’s gratitude to ordinary citizens who met extraordinary challenges. He described heroes best during his first State of the Union address, which he delivered on January 26, 1982. Let’s listen.

In December of 1985, just a month after their Geneva meeting, Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev agreed to record a joint New Year’s Message – one that would play over the radio in both the United States and the Soviet Union.  President Reagan recorded his half at 9am on December 28th from the Century Plaza Hotel in los Angeles.  It was actually broadcast via television at 1pm on January 1st in the Soviet Union. Let’s listen.

Speaking of invoking the 11th commandment during campaigning, on June 29, 1987, while speaking to political activists, President Reagan spoke about the importance of following this tenant during elections. Let’s listen.

Human Rights Day is observed every year on December 10th – the day the United National General Assembly adopted, in 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which is a milestone document that proclaims the inalienable rights which everyone is entitled to as a human being – regardless of race, color, religion, sex, language, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Let’s now listen to President Reagan’s remarks in 1988 after signing the Human Rights Day Proclamation.

On December 1, 1985, Ronald “Dutch” Reagan was honored at an All-Star Tribute by the Variety Club for their annual fundraising dinner.  The money raised at this event went to name a children’s hospital building at the University of Nebraska for the president. So in today’s Words to Live By podcast, 35 years after the actual event, we give you the December 1985 All Star Tribute to Ronald Reagan. Let’s listen.

Sean Spicer is a lifelong Republican. His role in reshaping the Republican National Committee’s PR strategy helped the party rebuild after losses in 2012. He implemented his same strategies in 2014 and lead the party to sweeping victories. In 2016 prior to the must-see Republican primary debates, Sean worked on behalf of the party to restructure debate formats creating more informative and fair debates. Sean’s efforts as the RNC’s Chief Strategist and Communications Director landed him a spot in PR Week’s Power 15 list for 2016. During today’s conversation with Reagan Foundation and Institute Executive Director John Heubusch, Sean Spicer discussed his brand-new book, “Leading America,” which examines the upwards battle conservatives have to face from the media, Hollywood, academia, and big tech. Let’s listen.

In this week’s podcast, we present Ronald Reagan’s famous October 27, 1964, “A Time For Choosing” speech. Let’s listen.

Gerald Seib is the executive Washington Editor of the Wall Street Journal.  He joined the Dallas bureau of the WSJ as a reporter in 1978 and transferred to the DC bureau in 1980.  He covered the Ronald Reagan White House in 1987 and 1988 and won the Aldo Beckman award for coverage of the White House and the presidency.  Mr. Seib was also part of the team from the Wall Street Journal that won the 2001 Pulitzer Prize in the breaking news category for its coverage of the September 11 terrorist attacks. On August 25, 2020, Gerald Seib’s book, “We Should Have Seen It Coming; From Reagan to Trump – a Front Row Seat to a Political Revolution” was published.  The book chronicles the rise, climax, and decline of one of the great political movements in American history—the forty-year reign of the conservative movement, from the election of Ronald Reagan to the Republican Party’s takeover by Donald Trump During today’s conversation with Reagan Foundation and Institute executive director, John Heubusch, Gerald Seib discusses his book, which Rahm Emanuel calls a “thoughtful analysis of the recent historical trends that led us to today.”

During today’s conversation with Reagan Foundation and Institute Executive Director John Heubusch, Sarah Huckabee Sanders discusses her new memoir, “Speaking for Myself: Faith, Freedom and the Fight of Our Lives Inside the Trump White House,” a book she summaries as the story of her challenges of being a working mom at the highest level of American politics, and her role in the historic fight raging between the Trump administration and its critics for the future of our country.”